Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/10/2013 -- The heat wave that has affected Morocco in recent months has damaged the outlook for 2012/13 agricultural output. Grain production is forecast to drop, forcing the country to import significant amounts of grains in the short term. This will very likely keep food price inflation high and GDP growth lower. The dairy sector is benefiting from growing interest from international dairy companies and is likely to enjoy strong growth in the coming years. In the livestock industry, we expect increased government support and investment - backed by strong domestic demand - to help these sectors to develop.
- Wheat production growth to 2016/17: 39.2% to 8.4mn tonnes. This will come on the back of steady growth in the country's wheat demand, a result of strong economic growth. Increased planting and productivity gains will also help to support output.
- Milk consumption growth to 2016/17: 22.4% to 561,700 tonnes. The ubiquity of domestic milk-producing animals means that household consumption of fresh milk is easily facilitated and virtually recession-proof.
- Poultry production growth to 2016/17: 25.1% to 851,900 tonnes. The sector is likely to continue to benefit from ongoing investment in the modernisation and expansion of broiler production, in addition to strong domestic demand.
- Real GDP growth 2013: 3.5%, down from 2.5% in 2012. Over the longer term, we forecast GDP growth to average 4.0% between 2012 and 2017.
- Consumer price inflation 2013: 2.0% average, up from 1.5% in 2012. We forecast inflation to average 1.5% between 2012 and 2017.
- BMI universe agribusiness market value: 15.8% year-on-year (y-o-y) drop to US$4.3bn in 2013, forecast to grow on average 4.1% annually between 2012 and 2017.
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We have revised down our forecast for wheat production in Morocco due to delayed plantings and droughts resulting in the destruction of wheat fields. We maintain our view for the country to import significantly more wheat in the coming months because of a historically low production balance and insufficient stocks. Higher imports are likely to push up food prices while dragging on domestic consumption and balance of payments dynamics. Even though we see temporary tightness in the wheat markets because of adverse weather conditions in the EU, the Black Sea region and the US, we believe Morocco will be able to supply its production deficit in the coming months, especially as the harvest in the northern hemisphere started in July.
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